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Emptiness in the Mind-Only School of Buddhism: Dynamic Responses

by Jeffrey Hopkins, Tson-Kha-Pa Blo-Bzan-Grags-Pa Legs Bsad Snin Po

Buy the book: Jeffrey Hopkins. Emptiness in the Mind-Only School of Buddhism: Dynamic Responses

Release Date: 23 February, 2001

Edition: Hardcover

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Buy the book: Jeffrey Hopkins. Emptiness in the Mind-Only School of Buddhism: Dynamic Responses


Jeffrey Hopkins is still unmatched in Ge-lug-ba scholarship

This critical analysis and translation of the Cittamatra portion of Dzong-ka-ba's Essence of Elloquence is an astonishing work both for its depth and the skill with which Professor Hopkins negotiates this extremely difficult material. The material, while difficult, repays the effort of engagement richly. The root text is reknown in the Ge-lug school of Tibetan Buddhism as the most important text for understanding the key doctrine of emptiness as well as being crucial to understanding the interpretation of sutra and Ge-lug presentations of tenets. Yet few can master it for its cryptic brevity and the multitude of interpretive dilemas it poses. This work includes a translation of the Cittamatra section of the Essence of Eloquence along with a commentary by Professor Hopkins, reflecting the opinions of western scholars and nearly two dozen Tibetan commentaries. Also included is an emmended edition of the translated portion of the text. The portion translated presents Dzong-ka-ba's view of the Mind-Only school, based on a careful reading of the seventh chapter of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra. Dzong-ka-ba also considers other interpretations of the same sutra, especially those of the Indian proponent of Cittamatra, Asanga, and the Tibetan founder of the Jo-nang sect, Shey-rap-gyel-tsen. Dzong-ka-ba's text thus becomes the doorway to a lively, complex, and compelling debate with voices speaking from Sutra, the Indian and Tibetan commentarial traditions, the current Tibetan scholarship, and western scholarship. Professor Hopkins begins to make sense of the complex material, which will be examined in further detail in the forthcoming two volumes of this series. For those who wish to find a technical discussion of the philosophical issues raised by this text, this translation will be of greater service than that published already by Robert Thurman in The Central Philosophy of Tibet. Due to the difficulty involved in reading this material, this is something that I certainly welcome.

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